How to parse たすけにいって in 子猫をたすけにいって 子猫にかまれたらしい

I think I understand the overall meaning, "It seems that he went to save the kitten and got bitten" but i want to understand more about the に いって.


2 Answers 2


Adding particle に to the i-form (also called stem, masu-form, etc.) indicates a purpose for going somewhere.

In your case, the purpose for going is to save the cat. So, as you guessed, "He went to save the kitten" is a good translation.

Other simple examples of this grammar construct:

I went to see a movie

I'm going to buy a game

I went to see my friends

  • Tangential, but I find it helpful to consider this type of usage of the masu-stem as a "limited-noun-like" usage, since it takes a particle and "feels nouny". A lot of the older verbs' masu-stems are actually "living, breathing" nouns in their own right, up to and including ditching the おくりがな (eg 話{はなし}). Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 16:45

しに行く means "go to do" and this て means "and then".

行っ is a euphonic change of 行き which is masu-form of 行く. I think your translation is good.

  • 助けに行っ is a euphonic change of 助けに行く -> 促音化して「行っ」になったのは、(「行く」ではなく) 連用形の「行き」、と言った方がよいかもしれませんね。(行きて -> 行って)
    – chocolate
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 1:52
  • Yes, it is rightness. Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 4:56

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